Written By: Sammy Dods
Our journey began in an airport, a sea of students in red Inca Link shirts. We traveled by plane taking up rows of seats. When we landed in Peru we filled two buses and a van in red. At the end of our journey, we reached the Inca Link compound surrounded by 15’ walls. After we landed in Lima it didn’t feel as if we were really in Peru. It felt more like an awkward school trip. Even that first night in the compound it still felt like a youth retreat, with a meal, worship, and devotions.
The next day was when I really understood that I was in Peru. In the morning a couple of us headed off to a Floorball ministry just outside of Alim close to the edges of the dump. This was where I met Gato who ran the ministry for the children every Saturday. I am not fluent in Spanish at all but there is something beautiful about sports that allows people to connect over language and cultural barriers. It made me so happy to see the kids running around playing floorball, high-fiving after every goal, and the parents sitting around the field watching their kids. It’s those moments where I was reminded of why I was in Peru.
In the next few days, I got to actually walk through the streets of Trujillo. It was so surreal to see all the colourful houses, and Peruvian traffic. I was definitely not in Canada anymore.
Not everywhere was as beautiful and whimsical though. Not far from the richer neighborhoods were distinctly poorer ones, I’ve been to the dump, It’s not pretty. It’s smelly, dusty and the kids play with garbage. You don’t feel disgusted, you take in a deep breath and go out to play with the kids because all you can feel God’s compassion. These are the people we were called to help.
My biggest concern, however, was that the help we gave would do more harm than good. Short term missions are not nearly as effective as long-term ones since we don’t have the time to make a real long-lasting impact on the community. But seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces as we sang Halleluiah showed me that we can make a positive impact on these kids, and at least give them a good impression of Christians from other countries. The construction we do is also self-evident of it’s worth, with forty-five people we can do the work that would normally take months for a handful of people. Looking at the compound is evidence of the work previous teams had done in past years.
Landing in Peru we only knew people from our own churches. At first it was awkward and forced but we got to know each other. We’re all energetic teens but through God I really feel like I now know what it means to be brothers in sisters through Christ. It was so amazing that we were all Christians and thus able to connect on such a spiritual and wholesome way. I’ve had some of the most deep and personal conversations I’ve ever had in the past week, and it makes me wish that I had so many rich friendships back home.
On this trip I feel incredibly blessed by God. I’m normally quite the introvert but in Peru through Christ, I’ve been able to try so many things I’d never do. I’ve made so many friends in spite of my normal meekness. I never dance and sing but I’ve been taking every opportunity to dance and tonight I’m singing for worship. I journal every day here in Peru, something I hope I will be able to continue in Canada as I feel as if my connection to Christ has never been stronger.
As of now I’m practicing my Spanish, continuing to work on my personal relationship with God so that I can support all the wonderful people around me, on the last days of this journey I hope to do the absolute best I can for these kids.
On Friday, July 5, 2019, Trina Wright said:
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